Shredded Chicken & Chorizo Pot Pie

12/22/2018


This Shredded Chicken and Chorizo Pot Pie is the perfect dinner to feed family and friends. Shredded chicken, colourful veggies, and spicy chorizo, all mixed together in a thick, flavourful sauce and topped with flaky puff pastry. Bake this as one large pie like I did or as small cute mini pies. Either way, this pot pie recipe is sure to be a hit with everyone. Its filled with flavour, full of fresh herbs, spicy chorizo, and it's beyond delicious. 

I don't make pot pies that often, I was fearful that they would be bland and boring. But I think the secret to a good pot pie is using fresh herbs and letting the stew cook as long as possible. Its been my experience that low and slow is always the way to go when it comes to stews, especially for this chicken pot pie. When you cook the chicken long enough it will fall apart, and you get this lovely shredded chicken. So if you can, cook it all day and then assemble the pie when you come home from work or wherever. 

Oh and I have to say, if you are trying to impress, I feel like this pot pie would be a good meal to make. It's that pretty, golden and puffy crust that gets people every time. And I mean with good reason too. I think the crust is my favourite... It's the puff pastry. That stuff is good. 


In my last post, I mentioned that I  have an internship interview with an organisation that I have been admiring since I was very little; the United Nations in New York City. I was amazed that I got an invitation for this interview in the first place. I jumped meters in the air and even cried a bit, because you do not get an opportunity like this every day. 
The interview took place over Skype last Thursday. I was very nervous, but I have practised my answers, so I knew I would be fine. At 16:30, A lovely and welcoming woman, and a friendly intern, called me. They gave a small introduction and then gave me an unfortunate notice. 
So, I got an interview at the United Nations, that shows that I stood out from the crowd. Unfortunately, they misread my application. You can only work for the UN when you're in your last year of university, or when you have graduated. I am in my second year, looking for a placement opportunity in my third year, so I wasn't allowed to start there yet. They still found me very brave for applying in my second year, and they said I looked very enthusiastic and potential.
They offered me to still do the interview, as a mock interview, so I could practice for any future interviews. This was honestly such a nice gesture, since I did not expected them to stay on the phone with me. They gave me a few competency based questions, that I had to answer, and then I received immediate feedback. For me, this was an incredible learning experience, because I know now what to work on for future interviews. After the mock interview, they gave me the time to ask any question that came up in me about the UN, for example 'what is your favourite part about working for the UN?'. We stayed on the phone for over an hour. I appreciated that they took the time to answer all my questions and give even more feedback.

Okay, back to the pot pie. This chicken pot pie meal is really easy to make. Perfect for a cold, busy week day or better yet a lazy Sunday when you want something cooking on the stove all day long to make the house smell amazing and super cosy. 

Ingredients
- 640g mini chicken breasts filets, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 100g baby button mushrooms, diced
- 3/4 Spanish chorizo ring, cut in rings and cut those in half
- 500g canned chopped tomatoes
- Parsley, roughly chopped
- Puff pastry
- Dried oregano
- 1 Egg


Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. 
  2. In the meantime, heat a medium pan over medium heat and lightly coat the pan with some olive oil. When hot, add the onions, garlic and chicken. Cook until the chicken is golden, this will take around 7 minutes. Add the red pepper, the chorizo, and the baby button mushrooms. Give it some extra taste if you like by adding a heap of oregano, salt and pepper. Be aware of the salt that comes from the chorizo. 
  3. After 5 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and let the filling simmer for around 5 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and add some extra seasoning to your liking. Take it off the heat and let it cool down until warm instead of hot.
  4. Roll out the puff pastry and cut a thin (1 cm) string off. Use this to line the top of the baking tray. This will help to glue the pastry lit on top of the pie.
  5. Fill the baking tray with the chicken and chorizo filling. Place the remaining puff pastry as a whole* over the pie filling and press down on the sides to secure the pastry lit on top. Brush off with an egg wash. 
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve with a fresh, green salad. Enjoy!
* Instead of placing the puff pastry on the pie filling as whole, you can choose to get creative and create a lit as you can see below. 



Chilli non Carne with Butternut squash

12/15/2018

Chilli non Carne with butternut squash... SO GOOD! Diced butternut squash tossed in a rich tomato sauce and seasoned with smoked paprika to create a smokiness in this dish, so you won't miss the meat. It's filling, flavourful, and it's very comforting. Melts in your mouth and the perfect weeknight dinner for the cold winter.

Butternut squash is, by far, my favourite winter squash because it is a versatile ingredient. You can use it to make soups, salads, pancakes, fried rice, and even cakes! 
It is also quite easy to handle, compared to other winter squash with tough outer skin. All you need to do is trim the ends of the squash and peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler. If you are roasting them whole, you don't even need to peel the skin at all. 

I love a good chilli, but always used packaged seasoning (oops) since I thought that it was to difficult to make my own. But let me tell you, that is so not the case!
Fir this chilli, I used dried oregano, ground cumin, and parsley stalks to flavour the dish. I also used smoked paprika to give smokiness and brightness to the Chilli Non Carne. No, more packaged seasoning for me after this discovery.
I added a can of mixed beans, instead of just red kidney beans, to give the dish more fibres and vitamines. To finish off the dish, I tossed in a several handfuls of red pepper and courgette. Honestly, I can never say no to more vegetables in my meals. Serve with brown rice for extra fibre, or rolled up in a tortilla. Either way, this Chilli Non Carne will be loved by all.

Get ready for a big update, because the last two weeks were so much fun and filled with good stuff. For example, last weekend, I had the SouthWest Business competition with my team. I spoke about this in my last post, where I said that I was a bit nervous, since I had so many responsibilities and things to organise. But it was an absolute success! Everything went according to plan. This event gave me the opportunity to meet so many incredible people, and learn so much, definitely got way more confident in leading a team and speaking to a public.  One of my university teams even made it to the final. 
My course leader was so happy with the way it was organised, that I maybe will get the chance to organise a similar competition at my university in the future.

The rest of the week was really special as well. Had another horse riding competition, our team became third, which is incredible. Had a deadline for the module Human Resource management, which was not a good timing, due the business competition event and the horse riding competition. But I delivered it on time and I am pretty proud of my work. 

Next year, I have to go on a placement abroad for 48+ weeks, its part of my course and it can be a study placement and/or a work placement. I chose both, one semester of studies and the rest working. Since September, I have been applying to jobs non-stop. Last week, I finally had some success. I GOT MY FIRST INTERVIEW! I am so pleased and can jump meters in the air from happiness. The interview is over Skype next week, with a very respected organisation in New York city, which makes me a tiny bit nervous, but I am prepared. Exciting times!
Lastly, my university is organising an exchange program for one month with Shanghai University, where you will be learning the Mandarin Language, learning about the Chinese history and economy, and  will be visiting Disneyland and the Shanghai shipping port. Since China and their  mandarin language is really important in business these days, I decided to apply to the summer school.  I did the same last year, but got rejected. However, right before I got on the plane to go back home to the Netherlands yesterday, I received an exciting email from the university, announcing that my application this year was successful! So happy! That means I will be living and studying in Shanghai this June 2019.

Okay, enough about me. Lets get to this delicious chilli non carne recipe. Enjoy!


Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon of oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 Butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 chilli (or more if you like spicy)
- 400g canned plum tomatoes
- 400g a can of mixed beans
- 1 Courgette, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1tbs ground cumin
- 1tbs smoked paprika
- 1 tbs dried oregano
- 1 Red onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Fresh parsley, stalks chopped and separated from leaves

For serving

- White or brown rice
- Grated (vegan) parmesan cheese
- Yoghurt


Directions
  1. Place a large pan over medium heat and lightly coat the pan with some oil. When warm, add the onions, garlic and coriander stalks, and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. Meanwhile, cook the rice.
  2. Peel the squash and chop into 1,5cm chunks. Deseed and finely slice the chillies, add them to them to the pan along with the squash and smoked paprika powder. Cook for a further 5 minutes and add the red pepper, courgette, cumin and oregano.
  3. After 5 minutes, stir in the beans (juice and all) and tomatoes, along with one tin worth of water. Break the tomatoes up with the spatula, season to taste with salt and black pepper, then leave to bubble away for 15-20 minutes, until the squash is cooked trough and the sauce has thickened. 
  4. Spoon the rice in a bowl and add the Chilli on top. Scatter over the fresh coriander leaves and serve with tortilla chips for dunking. Delicious with grated cheese or a dollop of yoghurt, if you like. 

If you make this recipe, make sure you tag me on instagram with #chynnaskitchen or leave a comment. 

Apple-Rocket salad grilled cheese with crispy red onions

11/29/2018

This apple-rocket salad grilled cheese with sautéed red onions is highly on my Monday to-do list. 

To me, fall is all about apples (and pumpkins). When I was planning my recipes in September, I had at least 9 recipes that included apples, counting this one. I'm happy to be sharing this grilled cheese as my very first apple recipe of the season. And while I have many more to come, this sandwich is near the top of my list of the most crave worthy, comforting and cozy recipes.

This grilled cheese is pretty simple to make. You have to butter the bread, layer it with apple, cheese, crispy red onions, rocket salad and mustard. Mustard? Yes, the Dijon mustard in this recipe takes this recipe from ordinary to extraordinary. With incorporation of Dijon, this grilled cheese becomes quality and simplicity. It pairs perfectly with the crisp apply, and cuts the sweet sautéed onions just perfectly with its slight acidity. 

The grilled cheese can be made in-between a grill or even in a pan above the stove. No matter how you do it, it's going to be amazing. It's sweet, salty, and extra cheesy. Slice the apples thin so that they soften up while cooking and as soon as the sandwich comes out of the pan, slice it and serve it. YUM!
This week has been pretty chill for me, mainly because I kept my dairy free since I had a deadline due today. The month November has been a month full of meetings and organising for me. At the moment, I am trying to organise a night out and a dinner for all the International Business students, since I am the president of the society. So far, the plans seem pretty great and we booked an amazing venue.
Another event that kept me busy is a business competition in Bristol, where I will be participating next week. I got approached in September and ever since, things have escalated. What started for me as a fun event, became a huge project. The university gave me all the responsibilities, I had to gather four teams that will compete in this competition. I had to organise the finances, logistics and accommodation, and almost everything that comes with organising an event. I have to admit, it was pretty amazing to organise this, but a lot of work. I cannot wait until next week, until we actually get to go.

Yesterday, I had my first horse riding competition for the university. We were competing against the  Southampton University. It was so bad and everything was outside, all I was craving was a hot tea and a cosy shower. It was a long day (5 in the morning till 8 in the evening), but our team came back with a fourth place! My individual dressage went not that very well, but my jumping got the highest score of everyone! That makes me so happy, since dressage is right down my alley, but jumping is something that I find really scary. 

Okay, enough about me. Let's gather some apples, fresh sourdough bread and red onions, and lets make this grilled cheese.
Ingredients


For 2 sandwhiches

- 1 tablespoon of oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4 slices of sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons of butter, for cooking
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 3-6 slices of Gouda cheese
- 1/2 tart, crisp apple (I used Pink Lady), sliced thin
- 1 cup baby arugula


Directions
  1. Place a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and then the sliced onion. Stir and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the onions until they're soft and a bit crispy on the edge, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onions to a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.
  2. Wipe the skillet down and preheat over medium heat.
  3. Generously butter one side of each side of the bread slices. Place one of the slices of bread (butter down) into the pan. Layer with cheese, apple slices, crispy onion and arugula. Top with another slice of bread that has an even and thin spread of dijon on the inside. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until browned, and cheese is melted. Slice in half and serve. Repeat with remaining sandwich. 

Spiced Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

11/22/2018

Combing two of my favourite fall foods together to create these incredible Spiced Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. Homemade and incredibly easy to make. Made with pumpkin and a lot of cinnamon, sweeten with honey and a big amount of pumpkin spice. The pancakes are fluffy and tender.
The cinnamon topping is equally simple: just a combination of sugar, butter and cinnamon. I decided to dollop the mixture onto the batter after flipping, resulting in melted and slightly caramelised cinnamon. Its like a cinnamon roll in pancake form.

The calendar tells me that it has been more than 5 months since I was last seen here, which made me wanted to start over. After my first few posts last year, I realised that a blog takes up quite some time (that I didn't had haha). It's the planning, the cooking, the photographing, the writing and editing. It is a lot for a full time student. I got overwhelmed and felt pressured to produce quality recipes every week.
I have always loved sharing my food and recipes with the world. I love what I eat and I want to show how delicious food can be. Since august, I have been planning and prepping recipes for a brand new start. I renamed my 'blog by Chynna" into "Chynna's kitchen", which is shorter and sounds a bit catchier. I bought a domain name and ordered a website template that I truthfully love. I have been testing and writing over 40 recipes, so I have a back-up incase I get overwhelmed again. The recipes that are coming are honestly delicious and I can't choose which one is my favourite. I hope you are as excited for this restart as I am. 

Anyway, I've been dying to share these pancakes with you all for a while now.  I've tested these pancakes so many times. Each time trying something just a little different. But this is the one. Fluffy and tender. Spiced with warming species and made complete with a buttery cinnamon topping to mimic that of a cinnamon roll. Perfect for the morning after Thanksgiving. 
The pancakes have everything you'd ever want out of a pumpkin pancake and every bite is so, so good. Perfectly sweet and all things fall. I am clearly over the moon with them, and I think you will too.

Ingredients


For the pancakes

- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (you can use normal milk)
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the cinnamon topping

- 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
- 3 - 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, eggs, melted butter, maple syrup and vanilla. 
  2. Pour the wed ingredients into the drive ingredients and mix the batter until just combined. If the batter feels thick, you can add more butter, 2 tablespoons at the time. It's alright if there are lumps in the batter. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon mix. Mix the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar together and transfer into a piping bag or even a sandwich bag will do. Snip a tiny portion of the corner off.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and grease with butter. Pour in about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the centre of the hot pan. Once bubbles appear to the surface, gently flip the pancake over and cook the other side for a minute. Use the piping bag with cinnamon butter and gently swirl the mixture onto the pancake. 
  5. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes warm with additional butter and maple syrup. Enjoy!
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